China’s $5 bln robot bid does not compute

May 18, 2016

The 36 pct premium Midea may offer for German robot maker Kuka is frothy. There are no cost synergies, the suitor doesn’t seek control, and governance could be messy. Yet unless Kuka can find a white knight, minority shareholders have every reason to take the Chinese cash.

Adidas can’t afford to be sentimental about Reebok

October 20, 2014

The German sports group is reportedly set to receive a $2.2 bln offer for the unit. Having overpaid for Reebok in 2006, Adidas has since turned it round and may be loath to sell. But Reebok has little strategic use. Fiduciary duty demands a cold appraisal of its financial value.

Diageo’s India splash won’t get Kingfisher flying

November 12, 2012

The British group’s cash brings relief to India’s largest liquor company and its chairman Vijay Mallya. The hope is the tycoon will use some of his booty to revive grounded Kingfisher Airlines. But without a strong partner and the promise of debt restructuring, that won’t happen.

Exxon has suffered too much for flawed XTO deal

July 29, 2010

Disgruntled investors have wiped more than $40 billion off the value of Exxon Mobil since its splurge on U.S. gas giant XTO Energy -- almost exactly the firm's price tag. With Congress ditching carbon emissions rules, clean-burning gas looks like a bad bet. Yet to assume that XTO has zero value seems wrongheaded.